Seven tips for saving money at the grocery store

Seven tips for stretching your dollar at the grocery store: 1. Try to match items on sale at the store with coupons to get an even better deal.

Seven tips for stretching your dollar at the grocery store: 1. Try to match items on sale at the store with coupons to get an even better deal. 2. Don’t waste time clipping the coupons you think you’ll use that week from the Sunday inserts. Simply write the date on the front of the weekly coupon insert and keep the inserts in a box, file or designated drawer. Then you can clip the coupons as you need them and according to which items are on sale that week to get the best bargains. 3. Check out online site for coupons too. Sites like www.redplum.com, www.couponmom.com and www.couponbug.com offer coupons you can print. A simple search of the product you’re looking for and the word "coupon" also often yields results. 4. Make a list of the stores you plan to visit and all the sale items you plan to buy at each store. Note beside each item whether you have a coupon for it and add any specifics of the coupon (such as whether you must buy two of the items to get the deal). 5. When matching prices of a store’s competitor, don’t just bring the competitor’s ad with you to the store. Record the bargain price on your grocery list and circle the item in the ad. This saves you time in the checkout line, as you can tell the clerk how much the item is you’re seeking to price-match just by glancing at your grocery list. If the clerk asks to see the ad, you won’t have to waste time scanning pages if it’s boldly circled. 6. Take your own reusable bags to the grocery to haul your bargains home. It’s not just the green thing to do; many stores give a 5-cent discount per reusable bag from your overall grocery bill. 7. Try to time your need to fill up your gas tank with the day you buy groceries, if you live near a store that also sells gasoline. Some stores offer gas discounts for shopping at their grocery stores. Often, the more you spend, the more your discounts grow. One store in Omaha offers 3 cents off a gallon for up to $50 spent in the store — and up to 23 cents a gallon off for more than $200 spent. ______ In this photo taken April 22, 2009, power shopper Margery Gibbs is armed with coupons and a shopping list at a store in Omaha, Neb. The grocery aisle is a daunting place for the uninitiated bargain hunter, who has to clip coupons, pore over weekly grocery ads and have stores match the lower prices of their competitors in an effort to slash the family grocery bill. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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